A scandal broke loose involving German carmaker Volkswagen and it has deleteriously affected up to 11 million cars worldwide. Volkswagen has admitted to manipulating the emission tests in the US with a cheat device that altered the results to meet the stringent norms. When it comes to quoting numbers, by which I mean really huge numbers, it includes 5,08,276 Volkswagen cars, 3,93,450 Audis, 76,773 Seats, 131,569 Skodas and 79,838 Volkswagen commercial vehicles. The total number of cars affected are 11,89,906. The slogan, ‘Das Auto’ stood for ‘the people’s car’, but now it looks like it’s ‘Beschädigt Auto’ which simply syncs with the pervasive English term, ‘corrupted’.
German prosecutors are investigating former CEO Martin Winterkorn for the possible fraud, related to selling cars with falsified emissions data, to which Volkswagen has blatantly admitted to. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), some cars being sold in America had devices in diesel engines that could detect when they were being tested, changing the performance accordingly to improve results. Volkswagen has had a major push to sell diesel cars in the US, bolstered by a huge marketing campaign trumpeting the low emissions on its cars. The EPA has the power to fine a company up to $37,500 (Rs. 24, 59,266) for each vehicle that breaches standards and could levy a maximum fine of about $18 billion.
An intelligent software controlled ECU automatically detected when the vehicle was undergoing testing in labs and switched altered the car’s performance mode, thereby releasing lesser noxious emissions than what it actually did on public roads, which is found to be 40 times more than the allowed levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx). About a third of the company’s market value has been wiped out since the scandal broke that means big losses for powerful shareholders such as the Porsche family, Qatar and the German state of Lower Saxony.
Volkswagen will slowly recall all the 11 million cars equipped with the rigged software. However, this does not constitute a safety issue to the owners. As to where the scandal is concerned, there are doubts that the entire rigmarole was German engineered by people besides the Chief Executive. Volkswagen must have had a chain of management command that approved fitting cheating devices to its engines, so further departures are likely. All this has seized the trust we had in the ‘Das Auto’. However, this isn’t the first scandal of its kind. Hence, we ask you ‘Volkswagen’ to come clean and bounce back soon.